Veronica Samuels

Among the top attractions are the many beautiful lakes near Williams, Az, that attract families looking for picnics, outdoor enthusiasts and water-adventure lovers in thousands every spring and fall. 

Most of the lakes near Williams Az are located within Kaibab National Forest, the massive forested reserve at 1.6 million acres bordering both the north and south rims of the Grand Canyon.

Kaibab National Forest is known for its varying altitudes and fantastic, diverse vegetation and landscapes, including ponderosa pine, Douglas-fir, spruce, aspen, oak, pinyon pine, juniper, sagebrush, and cliffrose. 

Enjoy magnificent views of the San Francisco Peaks and the Ponderosa Pines as you reel in the best fish at one of the many stunning Williams Az lakes. 

You may even spot elk, deer, and many types of birds, including bald eagles, during spring and summer.

Browse through these beautiful lakes in Williams, Arizona, for the best time to visit, tips, and all other details to have a fantastic trip with your family this summer. 

For knowing all about the beautiful lakes in the Grand Canyon State, check this guide to 35 Prettiest Arizona Lakes For Swimming, Boating, Fishing and Picnics.

Planning to visit Williams? Check my guide to 35 Fantastic Things To Do in Williams, Arizona, here for all the details!


Being an outdoor adventure paradise, you can visit Williams any time of the year.

Summer is the most crowded season, naturally, thanks to an elevation of about 7,000 feet, which means the summers are cool and refreshing. 

But many lakes in Williams Az and the best Flagstaff lakes rely heavily on rains and melting snow in the higher elevations. 

Hence the depths of the lakes can vary greatly depending on the yearly rain and melting snow. 

Spring is the second most popular month if you want to enjoy all water activities except for swimming as the water will be very cold. 

The landscapes around the lakes near Williams Az transform into a magical paradise thanks to the sudden blooms of Arizona wildflowers, making this season ideal for hiking and camping.

Fall is my favourite month, though, as the burst of golden, orange, and yellow and colder temperatures before the snow are incredibly beautiful. 

Plus, you can avoid crowds to a great extent and also secure good deals on hotels and tours.

Winter is also a great time for snow recreation, family tubing, and snow-skiing, although not all are open to visitors. 

If you are fond of fishing, the lakes near Williama AZ are the perfect hotspots for you as there is a wide of fish inhabiting the lake, including Northern Pike, Rainbow Trout, Walleye, Brook Trout, Yellow Bass, Channel Catfish, and Sun Fish. 

Plus, the lakes in Williams Az are surrounded by many fantastic hiking trails leading to stunning views and watching herds of deer, elk, and antelope graze the areas. 

While some lakes have campgrounds right next to them, others have campsites a little further away. Most Williams AZ lakes allow boating, although boat sizes vary from lake to lake.

Before planning a trip to any of these lakes near Williams Az no matter the time of the year, for permitted activities, camping availabilities, weather, and road closures.



  • Distance from Flagstaff – 4.5 miles
  • Driving Duration – 10 minutes
  • Activities – Camping, Hiking, Fishing, Canoeing, Kayaking and Boating

Kaibab Lake sits at an elevation of 6,800 feet, among the diverse landscape of Kaibab National Forest of northern Arizona, in the Kaibab National Forest is nestled on the stunning Colorado Plateau.

This beautiful lake, a hotspot among outdoor lovers, is surrounded by pine forests and grass lining its shores, while wildflowers add extra colours to the landscape in late spring and early summer.

Lakes near Williams AZ

It is one of the easily accessible lakes near Flagstaff for fishing and picnicking.

Thanks to its excellent location close to other cultural and historical sites, you can easily add it as a stop along the way.

No swimming is allowed in Kaibab Lake. Boats under 10hp are allowed. 

It is a fantastic spot to fish for Rainbow Trout, Brown Trout, Channel Catfish, Bluegill, Black crappies, and Largemouth Bass stocked here regularly.

You can fish from the accessible fishing pier or the small boat ramp.

You need an Arizona state fishing license to fish, as it is a mandatory rule in all Arizona lakes. If you do not have one, you can get one nearby White Horse Lake.

Kaibab Lake Campground is one of the popular camping sites in Arizona for its stunning location, plenty of beautiful trails accessible from the sites, and of course, the gorgeous views of the lake and the surrounding pine forests. 

Camping is also famous because of the excellent clear skies at night, perfect for stargazing, allowing you to enjoy spectacular views of summer stars.

The campground offers individual, double and group campsites with picnic tables and campfire rings. 

The campground has limited drinking water and vault toilets. For fees and reservations, go to this website.  


From Williams, Arizona, take I-40 east to exit 165. Turn north onto State Highway 64 toward Grand Canyon and continue for a mile to arrive at the campground. The entrance is on the left.


  • Distance from Flagstaff – 2 miles
  • Driving Duration – 5 minutes
  • Activities – Fishing, Kayaking and Boating

Located in the Williams Ranger District, one of the famous fishing lakes near Williams Az is Cataract Lake, about one-mile northwest of Williams.

Unlike the other Williams, AZ lakes, Cataract Lake is open seasonally for day use for limited days, and you can easily reach Cataract Lakes in under 40 minutes.

The day-use area is new and well-developed, with picnic tables, shaded areas, and a boat ramp.

Lakes in Williams Az

No swimming is allowed in the Cataract Lake. But fishing is prevalent as the lake gets stocked with trout and catfish, and you can also spot many types of birds during the migration season.


If you are traveling from Interstate 40, take exit 161, where you have to turn right onto Golf Course Drive if coming from the east. 

After passing under the railroad tracks, turn right immediately and continue for about a mile.

From Williams, turn north onto 7th Street. After crossing the railroad tracks, turn west at the first road and continue for a mile.


  • Distance from Williams – 8 miles
  • Driving Duration – 20 minutes
  • Activities – Fishing, Kayaking and Boating

Located close to Williams, Dogtown Lake gets its name from the extensive prairie dog towns that once covered open areas near the lake.

It is one of the offbeat lakes near Williams Az that you can add to your itinerary if you are traveling towards William. 

Lake and Pond Fishing, Kayaking and Canoeing are popular activities. Single electric boat motors can be rented.

Enjoy fishing for Rainbow trout, brown trout, black crappie, largemouth bass, and bluegill. No swimming is allowed in the lake.

Get on a guided nature trail around the lake, offering stunning views. 

Although spring is the most popular season, as the nearby campground opens up for overnight camping, it is one of the few lakes near Flagstaff that are open and accessible during winter. The views are incredible as snow carpets the area.

Day use area is available year-round, but if you need to camp, you have to make reservations online in advance.


From Williams, turn south on Fourth Street or FR 173-Perkinsville Road for 3.5 miles to arrive at Forest Road 140. 

Here turn left and continue for 3 miles to FR 132, which leads to Dogtown Lake.


  • Distance from Williams – 8 miles
  • Driving Duration – 20 minutes
  • Activities – Fishing, Kayaking and Boating

One of the offbeat lakes near Williams AZ, is the 35-acre artificial reservoir White Horse Lake, about 20 minutes drive from the city.

Swimming is prohibited at White Horse Lake, valid for most lakes near Williams. However, you can still have a fun time in the water by renting kayaks, canoes, and paddle boards. 

Rent a small boat from the launch ramp and admire the gorgeous views of the lake and the surrounding forests.

There are plenty of outdoor activities you can enjoy, including hiking, mountain biking, and wildlife watching.

Sycamore Point, JD Dam, and the Overland Trail are pretty trails accessible near White Horse Lake near Williams.

The White Horse Lake Campground on the premises offers 94 single-unit sites with tables, fire rings, grills, and tent pads. Around 50% of these can be reserved online, while the rest are first-come, first-served.

Day use is available year-round, where you can enjoy picnics. However, the campgrounds remain open from May through September for overnight camping, depending on the weather. 

Online reservations must be made. Check here for more details.

There are vault toilets and fire pits and no utility hookups. There is limited drinking water, so it is best to carry enough for all of you. 


From Williams, turn south on 4th Street to get on FR 173, Perkinsville Road and go 9 miles to FR 110.

Here, turn left onto FR 110 and continue for about 7 miles and turn left onto FR 109.


  • Distance from Williams – 0.5 miles
  • Driving Duration – 2 minutes
  • Activities – Fishing, Kayaking and Boating

On the way to Dogtown Reservoir, you will pass through another among the lakes near Williams AZ, Santa Fe Reservoir behind Santa Fe Dam, built in red sandstone. 

It is one of the oldest reservoirs in the area and is a popular spot for kayaking, canoeing, and Fishing. You can easily access it by a short drive from Williams.

You can enjoy fishing for Rainbow Trout, Brown Trout, Channel Catfish, Bluegill, Black crappies, and Largemouth Bass stocked here regularly. 

There are a few trails around the lake overlooking beautiful views, especially during spring bloom and the fall months. Swimming is prohibited in the lake.


  • Distance from Williams – 1.3 miles
  • Driving Duration – 10 minutes
  • Activities – Fishing, Kayaking and Boating

One of the smaller fishing ponds and lakes near Williams AZ is Buckskinner Park And Lake. It is a small pond but is a favourite among locals due to its proximity to the town.

You can enjoy fishing, paddling or boating(only small boats allowed) in the lake. There are plenty of fishing banks to conveniently enjoy fishing.

The park has picnic areas, garbage bins, and vault toilets.



Grand Canyon Hotel is the preferred hotel to stay in Williams if you are looking to stay in a fantastic heritage hotel.

Located in Williams, Grand Canyon Hotel features a shared lounge and each room at Grand Canyon Hotel is individually themed. Find details to book here.

Red Garter Inn is another fantastic heritage stay I highly recommend, especially for couples. Located on Route 66, this inn is a restored 1897 saloon and bordello. Grand Canyon National Park is 55 minutes’ drive from the property.

The Grand Canyon Railway departs daily across the street from the Red Garter Inn. Check out the reviews and prices here.

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